A free writing exercise inspired by a dream …
Trust and the Broken Four-Year-Old
The light had gone from her eyes by the time she was four. A vacuous wary stare filled the big, dark eyes with an expression of distrust.
“I cannot trust you,” she seemed to say.
Not a word was spoken but I could tell, as she gazed vacantly in my direction, that nothing was registering. It was as if she was looking right through me, her gaze distant; her aspect disengaged.
She would not be hurt again.
At least I could see this was her intent. But, sadly, it was not her truth. For even if she were able to defend herself completely from the predators that prey on such as she, her defences would also seperate her from those whom might help; might love.
But she trusted no one.
What choice had she but to take care of herself the only way she knew ~ like the tortured animal fight back, run, hide ~ anything to stay out of harm’s way.
It does not make her happy.
It doesn’t even keep her safe. For though she might avoid the demons without, the demons within linger, and torment. They are already there ~ already telling her she’s not good enough to be loved; not pretty enough to be adored; not smart enough to be successful; not loud enough to be heard.
The well-meaning voices she doesn’t trust out there cannot quell the dissenting voices she hears in here.
She searches for her truth, but cannot find it cloaked, as it is, in a blanket of carelessly woven lies that have already, at such a tender age, defined her destiny.
The burden of it suffocates her, and yet she has no idea ~ yet ~ that she cannot breathe. Breath means nothing because it is as if she is not living. She exists. She already survives. She bears the weariness of the aged … and she is four.
I can see in her eyes how she longs for release. She longs for something she does not understand; doesn’t know … yet.
She longs to trust someone but doesn’t know where to turn.
She turns to me.
“Can you be trusted?” she seems to ask, silently, vacantly, as if she’s already made up her mind that I cannot.
Will she understand that if I reach to hug her and say “Yes!” that this is truth?
Our truth together?
How long does it take to reason with a broken four-year-old?
©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013